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Listen First!: Turning Social Media Conversations into Business Advantage by Stephen D. Rappaport

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Chapter 13

Compete Strategically

Sizing up your company's own products or services alongside your competitor's offerings is fundamental to developing a competitive strategy. Social media listening provides businesses with ways to make comparisons. Analyzing online conversations uncovers specifics like the level of interest people express in particular products, their features and benefits; the emotions, likes and dislikes they convey; and how they position them in their minds. Experienced strategists will recognize that these types of data resemble those in a standard SWOT analysis, used for discovering and evaluating company or product strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

Winning Plays to Compete Strategically

The following five winning plays for competing strategically emerged from our review of these case studies:

  • Use social media listening to find areas of competitive opportunity. Determine where competing will make a difference in performance. In an era of parity products, choosing the basis upon which to compete is critical. Products perceived as essentially similar have a difficult time battling based on features or performance. Advantage often needs to come from elsewhere, such as meeting needs better or some other aspect of the marketing mix. For example, Kraft, whose Tassimo pod coffeemaker is considered on par with market leader Keurig, looked into search trends to gauge interest in its product. Kraft unexpectedly discovered that interest in Tassimo was ...

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